Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Cutter

I bought the cheap razors.
I was busy passing from one place
I call home to another place I call
home, and I had no time to stop.
I took what I could find.
I am shocked—I thought I would slide
the blade smoothly across my skin
and see the blood pool up in one great tear.
Instead it makes my skin bubble
and bleed. It causes bumps
on the tender insides of my labia.
The gleaming edge turns my legs
into jaggedly hacked meat, throwaway
scraps from the butcher’s table.
Why do I buy them?
I’m sure I have time enough to find
razors that don’t scrape open older
wounds only freshly closed. Razors
with guards that leave my lips smooth,
unblemished. Blades that will make him
swoon when he slowly slips himself
inside of me. But this torturous sting,
this shame, this embarrassed, searing
lack of sense is comforting. It has been
with me since my first day.
I’m now so comfortable with slinging the blade
against myself I forget myself and
slide it from stem to stern,
slice open my sternum, lace my fingers
through my ribs like a speculum,
popping myself open, strings of thick
blood hanging between my bones
as trails of spit from a kiss.
Dirt and ash seep from my veins
until they run clean red.
The steam from the bath ritualistically
cleanses my chest cavity newly emptied.
I hardly remember the baby I killed,
and I emerge from the bath beautiful
as a woman should be.

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